Sunday, September 30, 2007

Crazy Fun Busy Weekend!

Whew!
Saturday in Wilson was AWESOME! The weather was perfect--in the 70's--the sun was shining and a nice breeze was blowing.

I hit the yard sales early and scored an GREAT kitchen for Elijah for just $5. You can't even tell anyone played with it. I also got a maternity shirt, a vacuum cleaner toy and one of those vibrating rocker toys for $5. I was so psyched! Here's a shot of EJ playing Emeril with his new kitchen .
Elijah and I started the day out right by heading over to the local airport where they were having an open house. In the past two weeks Elijah has just started getting into "peer-plays" (aka. airplanes). He love to sign it and make an engine noise. He also recognizes the sound and always looks in the sky to see one if he hears it. He had a great time. I don't think I got a single picture of him smiling because his mouth was just gaping the whole time. He was so excited!
After a quick recharge nap, we headed out to the lake for Elijah's first "bitnit" (picnic). He kept saying bitnit over and over again on our way there. He had no idea what we were doing but he was excited about it. We got to try out our new (used) Kelty carrier. It was great! I don't think you will be able to tell by Elijah's face whether or not he liked it :)

We got out about 1/2 way around the lake and let EJ stretch his legs. He was so excited and happy to get to explore the woods a little bit. He actually would just walk off a way and start laughing he was so happy. Just spontaneous laughter---when is the last time you just spontaneously laughed because you were so happy to be playing with a stick and a pinecone??
(and no--for those of you who are looking--no baby pooch yet. I am 17 weeks along an haven't gained a pound. This is better than with EJ though--I was at negative 20 at this point last pregnancy)

And The Winner Is. . .

Charlotte from the Livy Updater!
Charlotte--email me you mailing address and I will mail you your gas card this week. cdenton_80 at yahoo dot com.

On an unrelated note:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FO6tE5j7yo is a really cool homebirthing video on You Tube. Many of you know I gave birth to Elijah at home and we are planning another homebirth with this baby due in March. If anyone knows the title/artist of the song in the video I would love to have it. It is so sweet!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Filthy Elijah

DON'T FORGET TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAY!! FRIDAY at MIDNIGHT IS THE DEADLINE!

OK I know I haven't posted in a while. I am having major nesting with this pregnancy and I have been cleaning and organizing and not doing the blog :)

Here are some pics from our recent lunch with Grandmama (EJ's great-grandma) which we do every Tuesday. After stuffing himself he decided to play outside. He found some pots filled with old potting soil and had a blast playing in the dirt. We didn't have the camera there so here he is in the bathroom at home getting ready for a bath before his afternoon nap. The filth was truly amazing!

Gnats were flying so he kept rubbing his face . . .
and a closeup of the hand . . .
Ahhh--filthy boy!

And here is a cute one of a boy and his dog:

Monday, September 24, 2007

First Ever Giveaway!

OK I am giving away a $10 gas card. This was mentioned in the previous post but I only got two comments so I am trying again :)

To enter:
1) Comment about sleep, sleep issues, sleep solutions etc. that might work to get my Little Man to sleep on weekends! (See the previous post)
2) Post on your blog about the contest so others can give me their advice too. Include a link to my post.


I will pick a winner this Friday!!

An now for a funny story:
Sunday morning we brought EJ into bed to try and squeeze a few more minutes of sleep out of him. He squirmed around and never went back to sleep :( My hubby though had no problem ignoring the blender baby between us and promptly fell back asleep. After about 5 minutes he started snoring. Elijah then yelled "Daddy cycle!!" Yeah--and people wonder why I sometimes go to the guest bed to sleep :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sleep (and a giveaway)

OK-I have been pretty focused on sleep for about the past 13.5 months (roughly since August 6, 2006 when my little man entered the world). Apparently I am not the only one! Check out what these other bloggers have to say about sleep:

Mama Knows Breast
The Motherwear Blog
Breastfeeding123
The Lactivist
BreastfeedingMums
Mama’s Magic
Hathor the Cowgoddess
Leche, Baby!
Veggie Way
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
Life with Twins


I guess I always assumed that babies would eventually learn to sleep on their own and that by doing the same nighttime routine and trying to be on a steady schedule that sleep would happen. That's what most books say will happen. That's what a lot of other mother's tell me will happen--"Oh just you wait, one of these nights he is going to sleep through the night and you won't know what to do!" Maybe it does with some babies, but not mine.

Up until about a month ago I had no idea if we would be up two time or ten during a night. Elijah didn't just wake to eat, he woke to play, woke if I sneezed or flushed the toilet, woke if the dog barked etc. He is just not a good sleeper.

We had tried so many things up to that point that I was about to lose my mind. I am pregnant now and sleep is becoming more and more important to me. Getting up 10 times a night is exhausting!

We tried co-sleeping for the first two weeks. Didn't work for us! Justin snores and EJ would wake up too often. So early on, at two months, we set up a strict bedtime routine. Book, breast, rock, bed. He always got put down awake. Often he would scream about getting put down--sometimes for over an hour. It was horrible. As he got older, we let him cry longer and longer until finally, at about 8 months, he didn't cry regularly at bedtime anymore. The book said it would take 2 weeks for his to stop crying. Hummm--Elijah must not have read that one! I also was consistent with the naps--same time everyday. Same thing: book, breast, rock, nap. Same crying. No reliability in how long he would sleep etc. until about 10 months when we settled into a two nap routine--one long morning nap, one short afternoon nap.

Boy oh boy did I try! Despite my best efforts my little man would sleep 4 hours max at a stretch without eating. During the day he was nursing every 2 hours (that's two hours form the start of one feeding to the next!) I snuck in "twilight feedings," I tried formula at night (it is supposed to keep them full longer right??), I fed him a lot of solids before bed starting at 6 months. Nothing helped.

We tried night weaning/Cry it out 3 times. It was awful. He would cry and cry and not go back to sleep until he got fed. After 2 weeks each time we gave up. I couldn't take 5 to 6 hours of crying every night. My stubborn little boy just wouldn't give in. The book said it would take three nights. Elijah didn't read that chapter either. I also felt like an absolutely horrible mother for letting my little boy cry. I was literally on my hands and knees praying while he was crying. Asking God to comfort him and to give me wisdom. Finally I just started praying for energy and resolved myself to the fact that EJ wasn't going to sleep through the night EVER!

So then I read a book called "Baby Wise." Elijah was about 11 months old at this point and his longest stretch at night had been 6 hours. I had heard two things about this book: #1-it is awesome and works wonderfully #2-it is awful and cruel to your child to do this to them. I decided to read it and form my own opinion. So read it I did. I didn't agree with everything, and I definitely agreed with almost nothing in the toddler wise book, but the author had some great ideas and points in the book.

The biggest thing I noticed was instead of Eat-Sleep-Wake (which I had been doing) we should be doing Eat-Wake-Sleep. Hmmmm--this is something I can try without too much trouble. So I did. Instead of giving him a bottle or the breast right before sleeping, I started doing it 30 minutes before and then having quiet play or reading a book. Boom--he started napping reliably and falling asleep easier at night.

The other thing I noticed is that the author claimed that regular hunger patterns determined regular sleep patterns. I know this is true--you get used to eating and suddenly you are hungry at that time no matter what. OK--no more snacks for Elijah--I can do that. We will set up breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, bedtime snack and that's it. No more munching in the car or stroller or shopping cart--just those snacks. Boom--Elijah started eating at meals and seemed really content. He knew when he woke up from his nap it was snack time and he loved the predictability of it. He also got himself down to just one feeding at night.

OK--age one! Beach trip is out of the way. No travel interruptions for the next month--time to try and night wean again! Whew!! First night we were up about 8 times. Elijah wanted milk--he would wake up every 10-15 minutes asking for it. I just went in and said: "Nighttimes are not for eating, they are for sleeping. I love you!" He was SOOOOOOO angry. Second night we were up 13 times. Third night we were up 4 times. By the 5th night he slept from 8:30pm-5:30am. Woo-hoo!!

Now Elijah generally sleeps through the night Monday-Thursday nights from 8:30-6:30 or so. Friday-Sunday, because his schedule gets off and his bedtime routine gets disturbed, we are up several times a night. I will take 4 nights out of 7 over 0 nights out of 7! It is much better and we hope will only improve!

Leave a comment about your sleep struggles and what worked for you! If you have a suggestion for my little boy and getting him to sleep through on the weekends I would love to hear it. Everyone who enters a comment will be entered in my first ever giveaway--a $10 gas card!!

Our Home is Decaffinated!

A week ago today, on our date night, we picked up a stray dog outside of the Starbucks. This is not something that we normally do, but it was storming and the dog looked 100% pitiful and I am pregnant and hormonal so we took it home. We named the dog "Decaf."

Monday we took Decaf to the vet to make sure there was nothing wrong with it and to find out if it was a puppy or an adult and what kind it was. We were also pretty sure it was fixed, things looked pretty shriveled down there, but we weren't about to go feeling around to make sure--the vet did it for us. It was $126.90!! Whew! What an expensive stray! We had to pay it though because I wasn't about to let Elijah touch it and I wasn't going to mess with it in case it had parasites or worms or something it could give us.

Tuesday our ad ran in the paper.

No calls :(

Meanwhile, Decaf is an inside dog that I didn't want inside. Decaf was stinky and I didn't want to try and give it a bath. Decaf followed you around from room to room whining when in the house. When outside the house, Decaf barked. Nonstop! I wanted to kill the dog by Tuesday but our ad ran until Friday so I was determined to stick it out. If no one had claimed it I already had 2 people on Freecycle interested in him.

Wednesday-no calls :(

Last night we got back from our walk and the phone was ringing. It wasn't that person's dog but we had a message. It was a very excited lady who thought it was her son's dog and could they come by tonight. Justin was putting Elijah to bed so I called her back. She headed over. I am shocked my little boy slept through her yelling and carrying on. She was convinced Decaf was her son's dog. She sent her husband to go and get her son to check it out. Her son drove up (he was in his 40's or so, not some 10 year old) and sure enough our very own Decaf was their "Little Man Leroy." Despite the stupid name, he seemed genuinely glad to see his owners. He was stolen from them in August and they had been looking for him since then.

They took him home and said they would be back to pay us for the vet bill--we had suggested going half with them since they didn't ask us to take the dog to the vet, but they insisted. Sure enough about 30 minutes later the "Gamma" came up to the door with money and showed me the 1/4 page ad they had taken out in the newspaper several weeks earlier. Whew! These people really wanted their dog back. They paid us the $200 reward listed in the ad.

$200 Reward-$Vet Bill=Enough money for another date night!


God is Great! We doubted whether we should get the dog and even prayed about it in the parking lot before we got out of the car to go collect him. Turns out we listened correctly and we were so happy to see Decaf reunited with his owner (and to get rid of the barking wonder.) Sadie wasn't sad to see him go either. She likes being an only dog.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

First Good Scrape!

Yesterday Elijah hit a major milestone (in my opinion). He got his first real scraped elbow! Up until this point he has stubbed toes and bruised himself a lot, but no real blood from a good old fashioned elbow or knee scrape. He was "helping" great-grandma rake in her yard and fell on the sidewalk holding the rake. Here is a picture of his arm:

Since I had the camera at the dinner table, I thought capturing some shots of Elijah feeding himself would also be funny. After feeding himself about 75% of his meal with the spoon, Elijah tried to take this unconventional approach.
With somewhat messy results.

Also: Please pray for my little man. His top molars (both of them) came about 1/2way through two weeks ago. Now they are fighting to come the rest of the way through and he is in a lot of pain. He woke up last night with a 103 fever and his mouth was bleeding. His little cheeks are swollen and his gums are bright red. He is absolutely miserable. We were up from 1am-5am :( Tylenol helps a bit but the blood really freaked him out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Arrrrgh!

Yo Ho! For those of you who don't know, today is "Talk Like a Pirate Day." Elijah is celebrating by playing with his pirate hat (he won't wear it) and wearing his pirate onesie. He is too cute. This morning at the library the librarian commented on his onesie and the pirate day.
Here's a video of Elijah saying "Arrgh" and "Yo Ho!"


On a completely unrelated note, my little boy can now count to two! I know, not a huge deal but I think it is cool for a 13 month old! Today when I asked him if he wanted an apple chip he said "papples, two" and held out both hands. When he ate one I asked how many he had and he said "one."

He has also learned the word "peace moothie" (peach smoothie) on the way home. I was having a huge craving for a milkshake and since I am pregnant I gave in :) I went to the Sonic and the peach smoothie made with real fruit and low fat yogurt called to me--a healthier alternative. After one sip he cried for more and learned to ask for "More peace moothie peas" Not a bad sentence if you ask me!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Beep Beep Beep

Click on the video to hear Elijah's rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus" (just ignore Mama's singing)

Chilling Out and Helping Make Dinner


Well, despite struggling to get his second molar through, Elijah is doing wonderfully at night. He has slept from 8:30pm to about 5am without waking for the past three nights. For some reason he is bound and determined to start the day at 5am. I go in there and turn off his night light, kiss him, tell him it is still nighttime and leave. He usually fusses about 5-15 minutes and goes back to sleep until 6 or 6:30. Monday I tried letting him just get up at 5am--big mistake!! He was grouchy all day! I would rather have him fuss 15 minutes and fall back asleep than have a whiny tired child all day long! Anyway--it seems we have hit on a winning bedtime routine and Elijah is finally getting the rest he needs. His little brain is just working overtime and his great personality is made even better by his being well rested.



One thing that has always bugged me about our house is the size of the kitchen. I dream of having one of those kitchens with the islands and double ovens . . . sigh! I guess though a small kitchen does have its advantages. Case in point, fill the sink with bubbles and a baby and get to chop veggies and make dinner without a toddler whining. The stove and sink and prep area are all within arms reach of one another so EJ was safe and I was productive. This is actually the first time he has ever been in our sink. He has always had tub baths. I was just at the end of my rope after a fussy day and decided to give bubbles a go. Here he is with his "busst" (brush) cleaning his "nenis" (penis). Yes my little boy signed clean and said "nenis" when I asked what he was doing with the brush. What a ham!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Year Montage

View this montage created at One True Media
Elijah James' First Year

Now 100% complete!!

WARNING: It's 12 min long!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

In Case You're Wondering . . .

. . . who the best dressed little boy was at church this morning. Today was also a big day for Elijah. It was the first time since he was 8 months old that he didn't cry when I dropped him off at the nursery. He made a sad face, said "dlocks", waved bye bye, turned his back to me and started playing with the blocks. My little man is growing up!

And here's a video of Elijah saying "again" as his daddy plays with him on the couch.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mmmm Kix . . Kid tested, Mother approved?

So EJ woke up from his nap and I asked if he wanted a snack. He did and said he wanted "Kix" cereal (he says this word very clearly). So I got a small bowl and gave him some in the den while he sat in his rocking chair. Fast forward 2 minutes when I emerged from the bathroom and what do I find?
This--no kix in the bowl, kix all over the floor (I swear I didn't give him that many Kix, they must have multiplied while being allowed to roam free on the floor):
So I said: "Wow! Look how far you spread out the Kix! Who do you think should help clean them up?" Elijah looked me dead in the eye and replied: "Sadie" and pointed to the back door to go and let her in. How can you argue with 1 year old logic? We let Sadie help clean up the Kix. Elijah was a good supervisor.

And a pat on the back for a job well done! (Sadie is not at all food protective. Otherwise I wouldn't have allowed him near her while she was eating. Trust me I was supervising very closely!!)

Friday, September 07, 2007

It Finally Happened!!!

Elijah slept through the night--entirely!!
He went to bed at 9pm and didn't wake up, cry out, sing, play, scream, say "mama" or anything until 6:27am this morning!!!
That is a miracle and an answer to prayer!!
Elijah has slept well every night except Tuesday night this week!!
Mama's dark circles are slowly disappearing!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Contest!!!

Well I haven't won one yet but this one looks great!!

You have to go to A Blonde Blogger's NEW REVIEW BLOG and check out her very first contest!!! It's an amazing one sponsored by My Little Piggys. You have the chance to win a $100 gift certificate!! To enter all you have to do is write a post linked to A Blonde Blogger's reveiw blog, and a link to My Little Piggys site...and tell in your post what you would buy if you won! You only have until Monday to enter!!


Ok, here's what I'd buy, and let me tell you this was a hard choice--There are so many cute things to choose from!!!!!

  1. These long sleeved bibs
  2. These adorable fisherman sandals
  3. This spill mat (maybe two of these!!)
So head on over today and enter!

My Little Man is Growing Up. . .

For the first time in about 5 months, Elijah didn't scream or cry when I dropped him off at the gym this morning. He waved bye bye and went to look at the fish.
This after a night of sleeping from 9-5am!! Whoo-hoo!
I am liking this sleeping, cheerful child!

JourneyLite Weight Loss Surgery

Who among us hasn't, at some point in our lives, struggled with weight. It is frustrating for people like me, (I used to weigh almost 400 lbs if you can believe it), who hear about people who "struggle" to lose 10 or 15 lbs. I really can't stand it!! This is a post for all of you guys out there who have serious struggles with weight--people who are obese, not those who just want to lose 15 lbs.

I know that 4 years ago when I considered weight loss surgery there weren't nearly as many options as there are today. Thanks to celebrities like Al Roker and others, the options today have really improved. One of those options is Journey Lite.

This is taken from their website:
Journey Lite offers a comprehensive weight-loss surgery program that will guide you through every step of your journey – from evaluating whether the LAP-BAND System is right for you, to finding an experienced surgeon, to insurance approval, and extensive follow-up and aftercare that is specifically tailored with your success in mind.

From support groups, message boards, member forums, recipes, tips for success, nutrition education, to learning to love the new you … we’ve got it covered because our goal is to support a healthier, happier you – for life.

Take the first step to better health and an improved quality of life and let today be the first day on the journey to your normal-weight life.


OK--so do they really care about you or are they just looking to make a buck?? I went to their website and this is what I found:
1) It is VERY easy to navigate
2) The information is very clear and concise--no confusing medical terms
3) The website is the first step to finding out if you would be a good candidate for this surgery. It will take you through a step by step process to find out if it is right for you. If it is, it refers you to the next step.

This seems like a great option for people who want to have a weight loss surgery. If you are seriously considering weight loss surgery, it is a site you should definitely check out!

This has been a sponsored post!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Fun with Daddy- and a Dr. Update


Elijah had fun yesterday "helping" daddy rake the pine straw in the yard. After dumping the pine straw out, Elijah enjoyed riding in the wheelbarrow. Here he is with his little red rake.

Went for EJ's one year checkup today. He is doing great! He is 26 lbs. and 31 inches tall (75% in both height and weight). He is healthy and cheerful and was so brave getting his shots today! He even let the doctor look in his eyes and ears and mouth (without biting!). He tore up the paper on the examining table into about 100 pieces--I don't know that the doctor knew what to think of hurricane Elijah. (I did clean up the exam room before we left :) ) The doctor and nurse both laughed at me when I whipped out a snack pack cup of chocolate pudding after the shots. Three bites and the tears were gone. This is the first time I haven't been able to nurse after his shots so I was really worried about him calming down. He ate the whole tub and we were good to go!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Midwife Madness!

Tonight was our first Midwife visit. It went great! We spent 2 hours with out midwife, mostly just bragging about Elijah and catching up. It has been about 12 months since our last visit with her :) (6 weeks postpartum). It was a nice relaxing visit. The baby's heart rate was 161 and it was swimming around and very active. We also heard the heartbeat from the placenta and it seemed nice and high. Of course we won't know for sure until my uterus is a bit bigger--right now it is just above my pelvic bone.

Everything seems to be going great with this pregnancy. I keep thanking God that I haven't had ANY of the nausea I had for 9 months with Elijah. People told me your pregnancies could be night and day different but I truly didn't believe it until I experienced it. I was prepared for another 9 months of throwing up. The only thing I would change about this one is that I have really bad heartburn at night. I can get it to go away if I prop up on pillows or if I take TUMS but it is really severe otherwise. Any suggestions would be appreciated! My midwife suggested some Papaya tablets, which I will be getting shortly--anything is worth a try!

No pics or videos :( Camera batteries were dead and I couldn't find any AA to steal from anything. Oh well!! Maybe next visit.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Remember When!

Vermillion Rules! has a great list of Remember When. . . stuff from before having her kid. It inspired me and I have to say, I am going to copy some of her stuff here and add my own!

  • Remember when I could go to the bathroom without someone walking in and staring me and unrolling the toilet paper for me?
  • Remember when I didn't have to dodge 4000 plastic bath toys in an effort to shave my legs in a bathtub?
  • Remember when you could make dinner without a screaming toddler asking for cookies and wanting to be held the whole time?
  • Remember when I didn't find toys and books and pens and whatever else will fit in a trash can in the trash can?
  • Remember when I could keep track of the Tupperware lids-they didn't end up in the toy box or in the bookcase or in the trashcan (see above)?
  • Remember when you could run 6 or 7 errands in an afternoon without someone screaming in protest?
  • Remember when I said, "I would never say that to my kid"?
  • Remember when I said, "I can't believe that parent is doing that!"
  • Remember when I didn't find the freshly laundered clothes strewn about the living room, including the ones I had already folded!
  • Remember when you could walk out of a room and walk back in 5 minutes later and have it look the same?
  • Remember when I didn't have to block the keyboard with one hand while typing with the other?
  • Remember when you didn't have to pack diapers, snacks, juice, spare clothes and toys just to go to a friends house or out to dinner?
  • Remember what it was like to get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep? (I would settle for 5 now!!)
  • Remember what it was like when you didn't have to share tastes of your drink and all of your food with a toddler? (Why does the food on my plate taste better? I put the same thing on your plate as I have on mine!!)
  • Remember when no one ran to greet me when I walked in the room?
  • Remember what it was like without baby snuggles every morning?
  • Remember what it was like before you heard the word "Mommy" 400 times a day?
  • Remember when life wasn't nearly as fun as it is now?